Sometimes rehashing a band's origin story is lazy, but Boy + Kite's emergence from the hot tub meetings between Darvin Jones and Beth Puorro is not only pretty unique, it also serves as an illuminating metaphor for the music of debut album Go Fly. The album is rich with eddies of guitar, swirling and frothing into warm soundscapes that backdrop tales delivered via engaging and melodic tandem vocals from the two founders. This is a collection of songs about connections made and lost, a place where the past flows into the present and shades the future.
The main musical touchstone is 90s indie and alternative: the dynamics, the drumming, and of course the guitar. Single "Think In Stereo" make this readily apparent. There will always be detractors when new bands revisit older musical eras, but most fans of this sort of music should be quite pleased by this song and the others. It sounds great, and the notion of "in stereo" (something like surround sound, where there is a sort of directional element to what you hear) is a clever metaphor for this tale of two people who just can't quite come together, even if they ostensibly are.
Like any relationship, the bond between Darvin and Beth is characterized by enough common bonds to unite, in addition to key distinctions that allow each to offer something new to the other. The melding of their divergent interests also surfaces in the music. According to the band's bio, Darvin is more into experimental sounds, whereas Beth is more into pop. One of the best examples of the middle ground between these poles is the introduction to standout track "Ohio." When the drums kick in, the guitars are tuneful but seem on the cusp of kicking up a dervish of harsher noise, making the subsequent melodic riff all the more impactful. It also sonically mirrors the ambiguity of the lyric "Can I be your little toy?" Is he asking to make sure he still can or asking in anger to make himself move on?
Go Fly is a strong debut album with many memorable moments. "Deciphering Static" builds to chorus that calls us to stop thinking and just act. "Skipping Backwards" gives voice to those times we would give anything to know what's going on with someone we no longer speak with. "Dear Lovely" is by turns energetic and contemplative. This is definitely a compelling listen throughout.